This necklace has been designed as one to be worn closely fitted to the neck. The chain that holds the ornament’s main body has been provided with a series of five rings, their total length being about three inches, and with the holder to lock two ends to adjust its length as desired for its proximity to the wearer’s neck or to suit the neck’s volume. This style of neck-ornament, especially its length-adjusting feature, is classed in the tradition as ‘adjustable choker’. Structurally, the necklace consists of two broad parts, one, the main body or its main visible part consisting of a semi rigid silver frame holding beads of amber, honey-red and lemon yellow, thirty-seven each. The precise silver base has been designed with as many sockets as are the beads and exact to the size of each; and the two, a chain in two parts to hold this main body around the neck, that on the left consisting of four loops resembling a human eye-form and a lock, and that on the right, the same four loops but five rings in addition, all on either side being conjoined by tiny connecting rings.
The semi-rigid main body has been designed in seven isolated parts, one in the centre and three each on either side, joined on the back with concealed tiny circular hinges giving them a certain degree of flexibility while the face not revealing any sign of joining. The choker’s central part, designed with a pointed centre on the bottom using a star-shaped bead, and a shallow concaving upper, consisting of eleven honey red and thirteen lemon yellow beads, is the largest, and comprises the ornament’s crowning beauty. Six other components of the choker, three on either side, have been designed with gradually reducing sizes in their upwards perspective, those next to the central part consisting of six red and eight yellow beads, and other two, of four red and two yellow, and three red and two yellow, respectively.
An ordinary fossilized resin, organic or botanical, obtained from a species of pine trees now extinct for some 6,00,000,00 years, revealing a precious stone like bearing : hardness, lustre, beauty and gorgeous look, and not imitable into an artificial medium, more than any other gem, amber has been the theme of centuries old poetic expressions : some equating amber with tears of goddesses, nymphs or birds, and some with solidified rays, sweat or even urine, perhaps for abounding in rare lyrical beauty and silken softness. Amber’s ornamental qualities were recognized long before the birth of Christ. The known Greek classical poet Homer wrote in his epic Odyssey in fifth-fourth century BC : ‘Eurymachus received a golden necklace, richly wrought, and set with amber beads, that glowed as if with sunshine’. Amber’s alike great protective powers were also discovered very early. About two thousand years ago Pliny, the known Roman scholar, wrote in his Natural History : ‘A collar of amber beads worn about the neck of a young infants is a singular preservative to them against secret poison and a counter-charm for witchcraft and sorcery’. Whatever the truth of these poetic or scholastic expressions, amber is still considered a valuable safeguard against ills, instrument that leads to success and a genuine, less expensive and alike beautiful substitute for expensive stones.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.